Sébastian Haller Could Be A Real Baller At West Ham United

Eintracht Frankfurt player Sébastien Haller could be an ideal signing for West Ham United. BBC Sport are reporting that the striker could be about to sign for the Hammers in a £45m deal.

The German side confirmed on Twitter that they had come to an agreement with their English counterparts:

The twenty-five year old Frenchman excelled in the Bundesliga last season. He’s scored fourteen league goals and adding five more strikes in the Europa League.

Not bad when you consider that Frankfurt’s main marksman was the highly rated Luka Jovic. The young Serbian banged in a combined total of twenty-five goals during the last campaign. His form won him a big move to Real Madrid in the summer, Via Marca.

Haller had no issues with Jovic being the star striker, in fact the French forward has been a big reason for Luka’s progress. As well as grabbing his own goals, Haller has also created  twelve assists for teammates.

As his assists stats suggest, Sébastien can link up well with those around him and he has the ability to hold the ball up in the final third. He likes laying it off to those in midfield (That could be great news for Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson or new boy Pablo Fornals) and he also has the insight to create lovely wee flick-ons for players to run onto, which could help Javier Hernandez if he stays with The Irons.

The striker is terrific in the air and that could be very advantageous for this current West Ham side. He’s also very strong and can muscle his way beyond opponents. The Hammers lost both Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic from their squad this summer and Sébastien could fill the void those two powerhouses have left behind.

He does seem to have the ideal attributes when you think of a player that could succeed in the Premier League.

As well as proving himself in Germany, Haller also had a successful scoring spell in the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht. The forward also scored thirteen times in twenty Under-21 appearances for France.

That shows us that he can adapt well to different surroundings.

While it’s very true that Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps has an array for attacking riches to choose from at the moment, personally I think Sébastien Haller must be in the running for his first senior cap in the near future. He could prove to be an ideal longterm replacement for Olivier Giroud.

The fee of  £45m would represent a transfer record for West Ham Utd but I think Sébastien Haller could be an ideal signing for The Hammers; he has proven himself in various leagues, has all the attributes to succeed in England and West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has a history of making players even better!

What Frank Lampard Needs At Chelsea

Chelsea have brought back club legend Frank Lampard to the club and the record goalscorer is now The Blues new manager.

Lampard impressed in his debut year as a boss, guiding Derby County to the English Championship play-off final. His Rams side were attack-minded and it had plenty of young, hungry players.

The challenge for Frank has just gone onto a whole other scale in terms of size and in fairness the former England international will know that, having spent thirteen seasons as a player at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is a man who wants success and who also wants to see his team playing attractive football. That’s not an easy combination to marry together and there’s a long list of former Blues bosses out there that will confirm that.

A major blow is the fact that the club no longer have proven match winner Eden Hazard within their ranks to call upon.

New gaffer Lampard also doesn’t have the ability of going out and rebuildling his squad using Roman’s fortune in the transfer market, like so many of his predecessors due to th club’s two window transfer ban.

But that ban might actually help the new boss as money isn’t actually what’s needed at The Bridge, what Frank Lampard really needs is time.

Frank knows the club inside out and he has an assistant manager in Jody Morris who knows and, more importantly, believes in the Chelsea youth system.

Chelsea have terrific young players and send these talents on multiple loans but sadly they still rarely break into the first team squad regularly enough.

With the combination of Lampard and Morris taking over and the transfer ban being in place this season could be the right time to bed a few more youngsters into the team.

In the manager’s first week in charge he has tied down midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek  to a new long term deal and heaped praise (Chelsea website) on fellow Chelsea graduate Callum Hudson Odoi:

‘I have seen Callum come through and he is a fantastic talent,’

 ‘We all know that and I will speak to him and I want him to stay.’

These two early statements should be ringing through the academy and have the team’s younger players determined to prove they can mix it in the Premier League.

Time has to be given when it comes to bleeding these young players into the first team.

Patience also has to come into play when it comes to Lampard himself. The forty-one year old is still learning on the job and he will make mistakes, it’s key for him not to make too many of these mistakes and to learn from the ones that he does make.

The rookie gaffer needs to find a style, formation and a team to play within that style and formation. He needs a lot from the experienced players within the core of his group and he needs any youngster that gets his chance to try and hit the ground running.

As well as battling it out to try and compete in the league, Frank also has to make sure his pool is able to deal with the rigours that come with Champions League football. His own personal experience could be invaluable in that regard.

I’ll be interested in how Lampard sets-up his midfield. Quite a few time under previous boss Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea lost the midfield battle. The Italian would often play N’Golo Kante out of position and I’ve got a feeling that won’t happen as much this term. Due to his loan deal last season, The Blues have managed to bring in Mateo Kovacic on a permanent basis. I think Lampard could get a lot more out of the Croatian and the same goes for Loftus-Cheek.

I’m also intrigued to see if deep laying playmaker Jorginho gets to keep his starting place in the team and whether or not Ross Barkley can continue to progress.

I don’t think Chelsea supporters should expect a huge season. It could be a transitional one at Stamford Bridge but if that means more young players are coming through then it could be huge for the club in the long term!

Tanguy Ndombele Will Be Terrific Signing For Tottenham Hotspur

Copyright – @SpursOffical 

Tottenham Hotspur might have taken a season off from spending on transfer fees last year but they’ve rewarded their patient support with a big deal early in this transfer window.

The Lilywhites have smashed their own transfer record by splashing out £53.8m on midfielder Tanguy  Ndombele (Source BBC).

A reason why Spurs reacted quickly to secure the player’s signature was to get the player in before other potential suitors like Manchester City or Manchester United made a concrete bid for his services.

Personally I think it will end up being money well spent.

Ndombele was a star turn for Olympique Lyonnaise last term and his stand-out performances in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League saw him win a place in Didier Deschamps’ French national team.

His performances were so good last season that he was selected in Ligue 1’s team of the year and the Champions League squad of the season.

It was pretty evident that Mauricio Pochettino needed new recruits for his engine room.

Mousa Dembele left the club for China in Januray. Harry Winks still seems to have injury issues and Victor Wanyama has been in a bit of a decline in recent years. English international Eric Dier also struggled for form last season.

The dynamic Tanguy will offer Tottenham’s midfield more pace in deeper positions. He has the engine and the attributes to make him an impactful box to box midfielder. Having that mobility and speed makes him a better prospect to anchor the midfield compared to the others in the Spurs squad.

Significantly Ndombele is also very good in the tackle. Last year he averaged around 2.4 tackles per European outing and 2 tackles per Ligue 1 appearances. Again his pace helps him get back and regain possession for his team.

So he’s dynamic, a ball winner and is a speedy central midfielder so that must mean he’s a bit iffy when it comes to passing right? Eh no, Tanguy Ndombele is a pretty accurate passer too. Last term for Lyon, the middle-man recorded a passing success rate of over 89% and he also completed seven assists for teammates (Stats From Whoscored).

Ndombele gives a very strong presence in midfield and that allows the attacking players time to flourish as Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Nabil Fakir did last season. That same assurance in the Spurs spine should allow players like Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura more time to do there thing in the opposition’s final third.

Tnaguy is just twenty-two years old and that means he still has the time to improve on his current impressive skill-set As we know Pochettino is a coach that loves working with younger players and improving them.

The player stated upon signing his dream to play in the Premier League (Via Football.London):

“It was very simple for me. Spurs are in the top four teams in England right now. For me it’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to play in the Premier League.”

I think all in all Tottenham Hotspur have a dream midfielder who will improve their team and who will shine at White Hart Lane

Tierney Would Be A Great Arsenal Signing But Celtic Are Right To Hold Out For Big Fee

According to The BBC, Arsenal are in talks with Celtic to sign left-back Kieran Tierney.

It’s believed that The Gunners initially offered £15m for the defender with The Telegraph stating that Celtic want £25m.

I can see why the Premier League side want the Scottish internationalist and I can also see why the Premiership champions want a hefty fee for the fullback.

For me, Tierney has the potential to be as good as if not better than fellow left-back and countryman Andrew Robertson, who has just won the Champions League with Liverpool.

Recently turned twenty-two year old Tierney is a stronger defender for me. He’s more accomplished defensively that he can be used as a centre back or on the right flank in an emergency.

Kieran is disciplined and will always give 100% for the team.

When Brendan Rodgers arrived in Glasgow back in 2016, he could see that Tierney was going to be an integral player in his Hoops team. Since then Celtic have won three domestic trebles in a row, with the full back playing a pivotal role in each season.

Former boss Rodgers said this about Kieran (From The Scotsman):

“Scotland have a huge talent”

“Kieran doesn’t waste his time doing stupid things, he’s concentrated on his football. He lives his life to be a player, he’s not drinking, he trains like an animal every day and wherever you ask him to play he plays it to a high level. Tactically he’s improving all the time and he’s an absolute joy to work with.”

The Scotland star also took games in the Champions League and on the international stage in his stride too. In 2017, Tierney was named in UEFA’s breakthrough team of the year.

As I’ve already said the player is a diligent defender but that doesn’t mean he can’t get forward too. He doesn’t burst up the line just as much as Robertson but he does time his runs and has a great cross on him too.

The defender is also reactionary, hence why he wins plenty of tackles and chooses when to get into attacking positions.

Looking at Arsenal from the past few years, they could be doing with a more discipline fullback and not just one that attacks first and thinks about defending second.

Celtic aren’t in financial trouble, they know they’ve got a fine young talent in Kieran Tierney and they also have him tied down to a long-term contract. That’s why they can hold out and get the price (or at least very close to it) when they are negotiating with potential suitors.

They’ve sold players like Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk and they’ve become players for top four sides in England. They believe that Tierney has that same talent and importantly they know the youngster won’t throw his toys out of the pram to force a move.

If Arsenal get Kieran Tierney, then I believe, they’ll be getting a hugely talented player who will only get better. But if they want him, then they will need to offer more than £20m for his services. Ultimately it all depends on The Gunners need for the player.

Who Are The Greatest Winners Of The Premier League & What Were Their Records?

2019/20 will mark the 28th edition of the Premier League.

Over it’s nearly three-decade existence, the world’s greatest domestic league has seen an array of memorable title-winning sides. Some have scraped home, while others have coasted to a title with weeks to spare, but all have lifted the same coveted prize.

When it comes to winning the title in style, the points tally is the main consideration, and in the Premier League’s 38-game era (1995/96 – present) one team alone stands prominent as the most stylish winner in existence.

Most Points, Goals, Wins and Away Wins

That team, obviously, is Manchester City, and 198 points over two seasons is an extraordinary tally.

If Pep Guardiola is not already the greatest Premier League manager of the past ten years, he certainly will be if current title odds are reflected in the standings come May 2020. Last season presented its own challenges, with City looking increasingly unlikely to retain the title at one point, before roaring back to win 14 consecutive matches as highlighted here – http://blog.marathonbet.co.uk/, in an article saluting the Premier League champions.

However, 2017/18 was the one that broke all records, with a late goal from Gabriel Jesus at Southampton being enough to see City reach the magic 100-point mark.

In practice, this meant that City had dropped just fourteen points all season, and the club’s tally of thirty-two wins also broke the existing record. Matching it in the season just gone also took a lot of character, and left nobody under any illusion that City are the team to beat.

The 2017/18 season also saw City score 106 goals, which also served to grant them the best title-winning goal difference (+79). Their aim, surely, will be to break that record in 2019/20, and with City bringing flawless form since February into the new season, Guardiola’s men unquestionably have the necessary momentum in their favour.

As an added bonus, City also boast the highest tally of away wins in any Premier League season, with their final-day victory at St Mary’s being the sixteenth of 2017/18.

Most pundits still think that a 100% season away from home is impossible, but having recovered so brilliantly to snatch the title away from Liverpool last season,

City – and all those who love the undisputed Premier League champions – must surely believe that anything is possible.

Fewest Defeats

City’s monopoly over all the meaningful Premier League records is almost complete. However, there is still only one team in history that has gone undefeated en-route to a Premier League title.

That team is, of course, Arsenal – also known eternally as the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003/04. A specially-commissioned gold trophy was produced to mark the occasion, when Arsene Wenger’s men did the once-unthinkable.

Fewest Goals Conceded

This is but an afterthought when potent teams like City are lifting a hard-fought title, but it is one more record for Guardiola’s men to break nonetheless.

Back in 2004/05, Chelsea conceded just 15 goals en-route to a first title in half a century, with John Terry a colossus in defence alongside William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho, and expertly marshalled by Petr Cech.

Most Home Goals

Even though City have thrashed esteemed visitors to the Etihad Stadium over the last two seasons, the existing ‘home goals’ record lies with Chelsea, with the club picking up a third league title in six seasons back in 2010. Much of that hinged on a springtime scoring spree, where Chelsea racked up wins of 7-1, 7-0 and (on the final day) 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The home tally for City to beat is 68, and though Guardiola’s preference for patient build-up is rightly the much-effective priority, the more bloodthirsty City fan would undoubtedly love to see City take this particular record too.

Biggest Title-Winning Margin

It’s that class of 2017/18 again, and Guardiola’s first successful title campaign with City also saw City win by a newly-high margin of nineteen points. City’s century utterly dwarfed the meagre 81 attained by declining neighbours Manchester United, who will likely stand as the league’s most distant runners up for a very long time.

Better yet for City, it beat the eighteen-point margin by which United won the title in 1999/2000.

Longest Reign

However, that pan-millennial season stands at the mid-point of another record City look set to break. There can be no denying that the late 1990s and the late 2000s belonged to United, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s peerless management seeing United win three successive Premier League titles on two separate occasions.

No other team has managed this feat since, but City could easily remedy this in 2020. In doing so, they will also be poised to win an unprecedented quartet of successive English league titles in 2021.

Biggest Deficit Overturned

City themselves overturned a seven-point deficit to Liverpool last season, and that gap certainly looked like more of a chasm as the Premier League went into 2019. Naturally, City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in early January proved pivotal.

However, this particular record remains in Manchester United’s possession. In the week prior to the FA Cup’s fourth round weekend in (January) 1996, the Red Devils trailed Newcastle United by 12 points, but then came the inevitable turnaround, and Kevin Keegan never got the title he would have so truly “loved”.

Longest Odds Defied

Prior to 2016, no team had overturned truly astronomic title odds to lift the big one. However, that all changed when, in the summer 2015, Claudio Ranieri cobbled together a squad of misfits, rejects and also-rans, and created history.

5000/1 was the price against a team that had only just avoided relegation in 2014/15, and amongst the ‘rejects’ were new signings Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, both of whom had been shunned as youths in France for their lack of physical stature. Marc Albrighton, Danny Drinkwater and Danny Simpson were three Englishmen who never quite made the grade at their previous respective clubs, but formed a great bond on the field.

Most notable of all, however, was the presence of Jamie Vardy. Stockbridge Park Steels and Fleetwood were his battlegrounds prior to joining Leicester City, but he defied his modest past, breaking the record for the highest number of consecutive scoring appearances in the league.

Eighty-one points – a whole ten ahead of runners up Arsenal – was sufficient to see the Premier League trophy decorated in blue and gold. A few people also earned life-changing payouts from bookmakers, who are still wary of setting the bar too high, for fear of the same massive losses incurred in 2016!

Rodri Would Be An Ideal Signing For Manchester City

It’s being heavily reported that Premier League champions Manchester City are wanting to make Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri their latest new recruit.

The BBC have stated that City are willing to pay the player’s £62.6m release clause to get the deal through.

If the bid succeeds then it would see Man City break their own club record for a transfer and personally I think it would be worth every penny.

The difference between City and Liverpool, with the rest of the Premier League is that they identify what position needs filled that summer and go all out and bring in the best possible star to fill that role.

Pep Guardiola already has a terrific squad assembled at the Etihad. That’s why he spent big on goalkeepers and full-backs, positions most teams will overlook for as many creative midfielders and attackers as they could fit into their pools.

When you look at the current Manchester City squad, you’ll notice that they really need to bring in a new defensive midfielder to reinforce that position. Guardiola and the City scouting department have clearly spotted that and hence why they’ve earmarked Rodri as a must buy talent.

Now in Fernandinho, Man City have a fantastic holding midfielder. Yet they don’t have anyone else in the side that can compete or fully replace the Brazilian.

There’s a few issues here.

Firstly Fernandinho has just turned thirty-four and playing as a defensive midfielder takes a big toll on your body, especially in such a creative team as Pep’s Man City. The Brazil international also seems to miss a small chunk of a season due to injury and fatigue and in those periods The Citizens aren’t as strong, plus they’ll usually be more vulnerable to dropping points without him shoring up the midfield.

Rodri would give City a new gunslinger that can hold his own defensively in midfield. He was extremely dependable last season for Atleti as he played in over forty games.

The twenty-two year old won on average 3 tackles per Spanish top flight fixture, Fernandinho would win 2 per Premier League game. Rodri is also very good in the air, he won 2.3 aerial duels in La Liga last term (Stats from Whoscored).

Now we all know that Guardiola likes all his players to be good with their passing and keep possession. That’s especially important in the midfield area with Fernandinho recording passing success rate of over 87%. Rodri went even better though as he hit passing success stats of 91.1% and that will have made Pep sit up and take notice as ball retention is so important to the Spanish manager.

Rodri is player with an excellent first touch and has great awareness. In many ways he reminds me of a young Sergio Busquets, a player who became a pivotal player for FC Barcelona during Guardiola’s days at the Camp Nou.

The value of bringing in Rodri this season is also very significant. £62.6m isn’t overly expensive in this current transfer market, especially for a young Spanish international with experience playing in the Champions League.

The timing is also very important. Bringing in the young Spaniard now gives the player time to settle in at the Etihad and City boss Pep likes to bring in top youngsters and give them time to settle into their surroundings. He understands that young players take time to get used to foreign leagues and that’s why he gave players like Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte less starts in their early days at Man City. They learned from the bench and then came in knowing what to do after being gradually exposed to the rigours of the Premier League.

Get Rodri in now and you still have Fernandinho in your side that he can learn from.

The player is also pretty unassuming off the pitch and that’s another trait that Pep Guardiola will appreciate.

Manchester City are brilliant at spotting gaps within their squad and plugging them during transfer windows before it becomes an absolute priority.

If they sign up Rodri then they’ll have another top class defensive minded midfielder. He can come in and learn from Fernandinho and go onto become one of the world’s best holding midfielders and strengthening City’s spine for years to come!

Profiling West Ham United New Boy Pablo Fornals

 

West Han United have announced the signing of twenty-three year old Spaniard Pablo Fornals from Villarreal.

The BBC have stated that The Hammers have tied the player down to a five year deal and will pay an initial £24m for Fornals.

The player himself told the club’s website that he was happy to be doing the Premier League outfit:

“I feel very good, very happy, and very grateful for the opportunity and to be part of West Ham,”

So what should the West Ham faithful expect from their latest signing?

Well Pablo is a creative playmaker who can play as a number ten, as a central midfielder or on either wing. I think he’s best suited as an attacking central midfielder and was at his most influential in that position for Villarreal.

West Ham played in a 4-2-3-1 formation ten times in the league in manager Manuel Pellegrini’s debut season, that could become the norm now the Chilean has Fornals in his squad.

He’s a player that has a keen eye for a key pass and can usually spot a great through ball into the forwards. Fornals also possesses good close control and isn’t scared to dribble the ball through the opposition’s half. The Spaniard is also able to keep calm in high pressured situations and has the ability to keep the ball in those tough areas too. He is an intelligent star who uses that intelligence to create for teammates.

I have no doubts that the younger attacking threat would’ve learned a lot from spending the past twelve months playing alongside Santi Cazorla and that should help him as he gets ready for life in England.

Even though he has a flamboyant and creative side, the Spanish international isn’t scared of tracking back and will work hard for his team. He possesses a durability that could be important in the Premier League.

According to Whoscored, only two players created more chances than Pablo’s twenty-six in last season’s Europa League.

The youngster played in fifty games for his club side during the last campaign, scoring five and creating six assists. He also made two appearances for the Spanish national side.

There could be a question mark about his physical style as he’s a bit slight but the English top flight is becoming more continental in style and the rough and tumble hasn’t hampered the likes of David Silva or Bernardo Silva.

Personally I think West Ham United have signed a possible gem in Pablo Fornals. If the playmaker is allowed to flourish in the number ten role then he can make the Hammers more fluid in attack and get the ball into the final third in a much quicker fashion, that will certainly suit Pellegrini’s style.

 

Manchester United Should Make Richarlison A Major Summer Transfer Target

Manchester United should know by now that there’s no quick fixes in their search of becoming Premier League challengers again.

The current squad has too much deadwood in it and quite a few of their players look over the hill and stale.

The signing of Alexis Sanchez in January 2018 was almost a point of no return for the Jose Mourinho era and that of reckless spending since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.

The Chilean arrived at Old Trafford to much fanfare and prestige. Along with his glitzy announcement video, the attacker was given a £390,000 a week contract (Sports Joe).

It’s a move that has impacted negatively both on and off the park for Man United.

Off the field, the Sanchez deal has become an albatross around the club’s neck.

Players like Paul Pogba and David de Gea have performed in the timeframe that Sanchez has been at United and believe that they deserve to have similar wage packets. De Gea only has a year on his deal left and he’s holding out for a wage pay rise, one Man Utd may not be willing or able to offer.

On the park, Sanchez hasn’t produced to a high enough level. The attacker has scored just three United goals in thirty-two Premier League appearances and he’s also contributed with six assists in those games. That’s simply not good enough for a forward who has been brought in to make a winning difference to The Red Devils.

It could be extremely likely that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his board will be ready to cut Sanchez loose if they can find a willing buyer. It will no doubt still cost the Red Devils but it’s a move that will takeaway the large albatross and free up an attacking place in the team’s first team.

If Manchester United do sell Alexis then they should use that transfer as a way of moving back to a transfer strategy that looks to bring in hungry, younger talent that have the potential to become world beaters.

If United end up looking for a new attacking threat, then they could look to a player that’s playing close to home.

Richarlison proved he could handle the rough and tumble of the English game when he first joined Watford in the summer of 2017, last term he joined Everton for a big fee and it didn’t weigh him down.

The twenty-two year old played in thirty-five top flight appearances last season and played across all positions in the frontline and he scored an impressive thirteen goals. That tally included strikes against United and Chelsea.

The forward is powerful, pacey and direct. The young forward knows when to run into the penalty area, can be very effective in the air and isn’t shy in using tricks to get beyond opponents either. Those are attributes that will excite the United support.

Richarlison, unlike Anthony Martial, would also give Man Utd an attacking threat that can offer something defensively too as he’s tenacious and not scared to get physical with opposition defenders. Richarlison has the skill-set to become a top player! 

He’s also hungry to succeed at the highest level and he’s got the potential to improve greatly. 

His impressive maiden year at Goodison helped Richarlison to break into the Brazilian national team set-up and win his first cap. The attacker has taken to the international game like a duck to water, scoring fives times in his first ten caps. This summer the Toffees’ frontman will represent his country at the Copa America in his homeland. 

Media reports have suggested that the red half of Manchester are looking at Richarlison as a possible transfer target this summer, the player himself has stated he’s flattered by the interest but also said he’s in no rush to leave Everton (Via The Mirror):

“It’s a nice feeling when you get praise for your good work,”

“But I’m not thinking about a transfer at the moment.”

“I’ve just arrived at Everton. I’m happy here.”

Everton won’t be easy to deal with and won’t want to sell their prized asset. Looking at the statement above the player doesn’t seem interested in forcing a move either. 

That could mean that Manchester United will have to spend big if they stand a chance of getting the Brazilian. 

In my opinion, they should definitely go out and make a huge play for one of Brazil’s top talents. He surely fits the profile that Man Utd have always looked for in exciting young players that can be difference makers in the tense encounters. 

Harry Maguire Isn’t Worth £80m!

According to Sky Sports both Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire.

The same report suggests that Harry’s current employers don’t wish to sell the England international and have put a £80m price tag on the defender’s head.

That, for me, is a ridiculous price for the twenty-six year old. It would see the Foxes ace leaving for £5m more than Virgil van Dijk did in early 2018.

I get that it’s a ridiculous market these days and I don’t blame The Foxes for holding out for that fee if they don’t wish to sell their central defender.

But in reality, Harry Maguire is a player that has just three years experience in the Premier League and zero appearances in the Champions League. The player also hasn’t won any major pieces of silverware in his career thus far.

Both Manchester sides need to bring in defensive recruitments.

United were woeful at the back last term and it’s clear they need to improve next season but they could probably bring in two players at the same price. Quick fixes haven’t solved Man Utd’s problems in recent years and I’m not sure Maguire would come in and instantly shore up the backline at Old Trafford.

Premier League champions City have lost inspirational leader Vincent Kompany. The Belgian legend has left the Etihad to become the Anderlecht player-boss. I’m not sure Maguire possesses the experienced needed to fill the massive hole that Kompany has left behind him and you’d expect that if you paid £80m for his signature.

Now again I’m not a hater of Maguire. He’s very good in the air, can be a threat in the opposition’s penalty area and he wins plenty of challenges.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola isn’t a manager that just wants his defenders to defend. His defensive men also have to be comfortable with the ball at their feet and not make too many errors.

Harry had an 85% passing success rate last season and that isn’t as good as any of City’s central defenders last year. Maguire in particular isn’t as good when he’s passing the ball in the opposition’s half. Maguire also picked up quite a few cards and that can be costly.

If either United or City could get the defender for £20m less than the £80m asking price then that would represent a much better deal but again Leicester City would be totally justified to reject anything lower than their valuation.

The defender doesn’t seem interested in pushing for a move and that gives Leicester City all the cards when it comes to dealing with potential suitors (Via Leicester Mercury):

“Leicester’s an exciting club to be at − Brendan has really improved the team in the recent months, and he’s someone we’re looking forward to working with,” Maguire told the BBC. “I’m sure he will take the club forward.

“He’s definitely got his own aspects in the game, and I’m sure he will improve us.”

“After a good pre-season, I’m sure he’s the man that can help us break into those European spaces.”

Maybe being Scottish I’m a bit of a tightwad when it comes to money but I can’t see any justification in a team spending a world record fee on a defender that’s still hasn’t won a title or played in the Champions League.

Luka Jovic Signing Shows That Real Madrid Are Moving On From Ronaldo

Real Madrid have confirmed that Luka Jovic will join the club from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.

Spanish news outlet Marca are reporting that the fee agreed is in the region of €60m.

The transfer is pretty significant because it’s the first time in around ten years that Los Blancos have signed a proper number nine.

In fairness, in that time they’ve been served admirably with Karim Benzema often amongst the goals and creating the space needed to get the best out of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But goal-machine Ronaldo departed the Santiago Bernabeu last summer and quite frankly Real haven’t looked the same without the Portuguese genius leading the line.

In the 2018-19 season, Real Madrid scored sixty-three times as they finished in third place in La Liga which was a full nineteen points and twenty-seven goals behind champions FC Barcelona.

Be in no doubt, Jovic has been brought in to bang in the goals that Madrid need to compete once again in Spain and in the Champions League.

The young Serbian will be tasked in replacing Ronaldo.

A tall task for anyone, especially for a twenty-one year old.

But Luka was extremely impressive for Frankfurt last term. He grabbed seventeen Bundesliga goals and added ten more strikes in the Europa League.

The youngster is a composed finisher, who can score with either foot or with his head! He comes alive when the ball arrives in the box and he’s smart and instinctive with his finishes.

It might sound funny to say it but Luka Jovic is a striker who loves grabbing goals. That brings with it a ruthlessness and a hungry quality that all prolific hitmen possess.

He showed last term at Frankfurt that he can work well with a partner up top. Sebastian Haller was the perfect foil alongside Jovic and maybe that could become Benzema’s role at the Bernabeu next season.

Last night Real announced that they’d also completed the signing of Chelsea maestro Eden Hazard. Luka loves one touch finishes and Hazard will create numerous chances for the Serbian. 

Jovic stated that on his Instagram (Via Goal) that it was a dream come true to join such an illustrious club: 

“Real Madrid opens a huge door for me to become an even bigger footballer. Every child has this dream of playing at such a club. My dream comes true now.”

That should tell us that Luka Jovic is ready to arrive in Madrid and is determined to become a goalscoring hero for Los Blancos. 

The Spanish giants have started this summer with a bang in the transfer market. They’ve seen that they needed to rebuild and forget about Cristiano Ronaldo. 

In Luka Jovic they might now have a striker that will once again shine in the number nine! 

It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how Zinedine Zidane sets out his new team and if they can start the season with a bang!